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GUEST COMMENTARY-So here we are, the end of April 2018. The State law legalizing marijuana sales took effect January 1. To date, LA City has issued a total of 142 permits. 

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420 FILE—(Ed Note: The LA Times headline on April 23: “LA has yet to license a single marijuana manufacturer, leaving businesses shut out of the city’s legal market.”  Budget Advocate Co-Chair Jay Handal is not surprised.) 

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420 FILE--Drugs and crime: The two phenomena have been linked for so long that many assume one inevitably leads to the other. Attorney General Jeff Sessions insists legalizing marijuana can inspire violent activity, while some in Colorado have linked legal pot to that state's increase in crime.

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DEEGAN ON LA-Bring in the bean counters, or would that be the bud counters? Now that recreational marijuana is legal in California, thanks to overwhelming passage of Prop M that was approved by 80% of the voters last March, there will be a steady flow of new tax revenues streaming into the City and the State. 

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420 FILE--Though a key argument for legalizing marijuana in the United States is that it would put a tremendous and necessary dent in the domestic and global failure known as "the War on Drugs," a new analysis out Wednesday reveals that federal legalization could also raise more than $130 billion in tax revenue by 2025 while also creating more than 1.1 million new jobs.

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BCK FILE--This week, Attorney Jeff Sessions fired yet another shot at California, delivered courtesy of the Trump Administration. For the party that espouses states rights, Sessions threw a punch just days after California rolled out legalized recreational cannabis. 

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420 FILE--On the heels of a California law legalizing recreational marijuana use, which took effect Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is planning to rescind the federal policy that has enabled Americans to grow, sell, and use cannabis in places where it has been legalized, without federal intervention, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

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420-FILE--The Northern California fires that collectively burned hundreds of thousands of acresdestroyed nearly 6,000 homes, and killed 43 people across eight counties in October are leaving a legacy from which it will take the state will take years to recover, with insurance claims at $9 billion and rising.

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420 FILE--Just weeks after a California measure legalizing the use of recreational marijuana went into effect, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón announced on Wednesday that the city will wipe clean the records of thousands of individuals who have been charged with marijuana-related misdemeanors and felonies over the past several decades.

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS--The County of Los Angeles has made public input a priority as it grapples with the complicated and historic work of developing regulations for newly legalized cannabis in the unincorporated areas of the county.

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POLICING THE POLICE-News reports last week suggest the city of Oakland may be ready to settle a civil lawsuit filed by the teenage woman at the heart of a sex-abuse scandal that rocked Oakland’s and other nearby police departments since 2015. 

All things considered, the city is fortunate. The reported settlement is just under $1 million, far below the $66 million she had originally sought. 

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CONNECTING CALIFORNIA--Dig deep enough into any of California’s biggest problems, and you’ll eventually hit upon a common villain: our court system.

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THE POLITICS OF RACISM-I wanted to believe that Jeff Sessions is not a racist. I wanted to believe that even if he was a racist as a young man that he has since converted to a higher plane of thinking. I wanted to believe that he is a changed man because I believe that anyone is capable of redemption. After-all, St. Paul hunted down early Christians. Tolstoy was a slave owner. And Nelson Mandela almost blew up a school bus as a terrorist. We are all capable of undergoing unfathomable transformation if divine grace and luck have their way. 

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GOLDEN STATE’S NEW INDUSTRY--If you’ve got more than a few questions about California’s new recreational cannabis policy, you’re certainly not the only one. Millions somewhat naively expected to wake up January 1 with a booming recreational cannabis industry blossoming all around them. In reality, things aren’t nearly as simple.

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ALPERN AT LARGE--Seriously?  No foolin'?  Is "California Dreamin’" really doomed to devolve into one big marijuana-hazed April Fools Day joke, with those still sober stuck with the choice of living in, or fleeing from, the California Twilight Zone? 

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FIRST PERSON--Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently called marijuana use a “life-wrecking dependency” that is “only slightly less awful” than heroin.

Really?

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Dear Nurse Susan,

I was recently diagnosed with high blood pressure. I was researching the common pharmaceutical drugs that doctors prescribe to lower blood pressure. The side effects were pretty scary. Whenever possible, I like to use natural remedies, but I don’t want to mess around when it comes to my heart. What do you think about using cannabis for high blood pressure?

Under Pressure

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